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Two Tanks

Dreamed before 1963 by Anonymous #19 as reported by J.B. Priestley


In 1963, writer J.B. Priestley put out a request on a BBC show for examples of strange experiences with time, whether waking or dreaming. Over a thousand responses came: predictive dreams and visions of varying clarity, accuracy and credibility. The following year he published many examples (though withholding most dreamers' names for privacy reasons) in his book Man and Time. This is one of the thousand.

I'm not sure it's predictive; since the tanks were already there when he dreamed of their location, mere clairvoyance would suffice. If you call that mere. But whatever you call the dream-sense here, it's unquestionably useful. And that's what we require of any sense. What impresses me most is not just that his dream got the exact code for the correct locker, but that he remembered this arbitrary sequence of numbers and letters.

--Chris Wayan


A nice instance of a dream followed by successful action is rather too long and technical to be quoted in full. But here is the gist of it. A medical photographer has to move into a new building and to order a lot of new equipment. Everything arrives except two large developing tanks, for which he searches everywhere, finally concluding they must have been stolen. One night, not long afterward, he dreams that he visits one of the rooms, still not in use, where various odd items are stored. In this room there are some large grey steel cupboards, and in his dream he finds one labeled FJA 39, discovers a key to fit it, opens it--and there are the two missing tanks.

Later on in the day he remembers the dream, goes to the key box and finds one labeled FJA 39, takes it to the room of his dream, opens the appropriate cupboard, sees nothing in there, locks the door and goes away, disappointed. But he cannot escape the feeling that those missing tanks really are in that cupboard. So he tries again, still sees nothing, but this time takes a much closer look. The tanks are there, and he missed seeing them before because the light was poor; they were the same dark grey as the shelves, and had been pushed back.

He adds that he did not store the tanks in these cupboards, had never seen the cupboards before, and knew nothing about the numbers of the locks, the exact FJA 39 he needed coming to him entirely from the dream. He adds also, "Needless to say, no one ever believes me when I tell them the story." To which I add that if he is not to be trusted in this matter, then he should not be employed doing an exacting technical job in a cancer hospital. But then I believe him.


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